GM's Electric Auto Will Need a Leap of Science
> Could the battery-powered electric car be poised for a comeback? General Motors Corp. says a Chevy that plugs into a socket might be three to five years away.
Just about every other automaker says otherwise, noting that major technical hurdles make a plug-in vehicle a distant dream. They say that lithium-ion battery technology is too expensive and unstable to be used in a car.
"Lithium-ion chemistry still has issues for automotive applications," said Don Runkle, a former GM engineer and now chairman of EaglePicher Holdings Inc., which makes small batteries. "Everyone tries to pooh-pooh thermal runaway (overheating), but this is nasty stuff. If it screws up, you have a dead serious fire on your hands."
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